Charleston, W.Va. – With more than two dozen West Virginia-based craft breweries making a growing economic impact across the state, the Charleston Area Alliance today announced that it has teamed up with scientists at Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research & Innovation Center (MATRIC) to help these small businesses operate more efficiently. Working with the West Virginia Craft Brewers Guild, MATRIC is now offering to conduct all of the state breweries’ testing from its headquarters in South Charleston.
“Many West Virginia brewers were sending their samples out of state. Recognizing this testing could be provided in-state, the Alliance was able to link the breweries with MATRIC,” said Matthew Ballard, President/CEO of the Charleston Area Alliance.
“At MATRIC, we pride ourselves on being able to solve the most complex problems in science and technology,” said Steve Hedrick, CEO of MATRIC. “And when it comes to supporting craft brewery and small businesses in our great state of West Virginia, our experts are able to utilize their wealth of experience and our unique infrastructure to ensure the utmost quality of these products that make their way to consumers across the state and nationwide.”
“We were pleased with the connection that was made by the Charleston Area Alliance for this opportunity with MATRIC to improve the testing process and make it easier to get their products ready and to market,” said Sam Mauzy, President of the West Virginia Craft Brewers Guild. “Craft beer enthusiasts support our members because of the innovation and variety they offer. The availability of in-state testing services will help local brewers grow by expediting the delivery of new and distinctive beers to market.”
The Charleston Area Alliance has been working to expand the craft brewery industry in West Virginia by identifying its economic potential for the Mountain State. With over 24 craft breweries located across the state, and more slated to open in 2018, this niche industry is creating new jobs and stimulating new tourism dollars.
As part of the collective work to expand this industry, the Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce, an affiliate of the Alliance, successfully advocated for legislative changes in recent years that permitted “growler” sales and the expansion of serving times that have bolstered sales specifically in tourist destinations.
“This new partnership is an example of economic development that doesn’t receive its fair share of attention. Recruiting new businesses always makes headlines, but our direct work helping our existing local businesses grow is just as important. In this case, the Alliance identified local businesses with a need and connected them to an expert and world-renowned resource that will keep the economic impact of their testing expenditures in the state,” Ballard said.
Craft brewery growth is happening nationwide. According to the Brewers Association, a national not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, “Craft breweries contributed $67.8 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016, a 21.7 percent increase from 2014.”
About Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research & Innovation Center (MATRIC)
MATRIC is the strategic innovation partner of choice that provides uncommon expertise and infrastructure to solve the most challenging science and technology problems. Focusing on the areas of chemical, energy and environmental technologies, technical engineering and advanced software technologies, MATRIC delivers innovation from concept to commercialization. We utilize our experienced and renowned staff, unique laboratory and pilot plant facilities, and flexible intellectual property models to create value for customers and investors around the world. We are an energized and expanding company that works from facilities in the West Virginia Regional Technology Park in South Charleston and Morgantown, West Virginia.
The West Virginia Craft Brewers Guild (WVCBG) was founded to be an advocate for the state’s community of brewers and represents over 20 brewers across West Virginia. WVCBG works to promote the craft brewery industry throughout the state and to support improved legislation and regulation for the growing industry. Recently, WVCBG worked on legislation to remove the limit on growler sales in order to help foster growth for the industry.